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Activists hope hundreds will rally at Kiener Plaza for immigrants' rights

By Rachel Lippmann

St. Louis – Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu is expected to be one of nearly a dozen speakers Saturday at a rally in downtown St. Louis for immigrant's rights.

Organizers hope to get at least 1,000 people to turn out for the event or more people turn out for the event at Kiener Plaza. The St. Louis march is one of a series of events across the country to push for reform to the country's immigration laws. May 1st has over the last few years become a big day for such rallies.

St. Louis organizer Marilyn Lorenz, with the St. Louis Interfaith Council on Latin America, said she won't judge success on Saturday by numbers alone.

"If we could get a bill in Congress that really takes into consideration all the aspects and not just enforcement, our country would be richer," she said.

The rally comes a week after Arizona's governor signed into law one of the strictest anti illegal immigration measures in the country. And while Missouri isn't a border state, Lorenz said, it has a sizable population of immigrants.

"I think the efforts of the Missouri legislature to keep creating bills that separate us and build barriers between the people who are here and the people who are coming is wrong," she said.

Lorenz said her group is ready for counter-protesters but does not expect trouble.